Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 3:4

The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Children;   Dream;   Gibeon;   High Places;   Prayer;   Solomon;   Scofield Reference Index - Bible Prayers;   Thompson Chain Reference - Burnt-Offerings;   Dedication;   Gibeon;   Giving;   High Places;   Liberality-Parsimony;   Munificence;   Offerings;   Places;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - High Places;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Groves;   High Places;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Prayer;   Wisdom;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Benjamin;   Pentateuch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Intercession;   King, Kingship;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Pilgrimage;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gibeon;   High Place, Sanctuary;   Israel;   Prayer;   Sacrifice and Offering;   Solomon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Sacrifices ;   Worldliness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gibeon ;   High Place;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Gibeon;   High places;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ben'jamin, the Tribe of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gibeon;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Altar;   Bamah;   Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Gibeon;   Hebron (1);   High Place;   King;   Levitical Cities;   Solomon;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Burnt-offerings;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - High Place;   Palestine;   Zadok;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Gibeon - The transfer to Gibeon of the “tabernacle of the congregation,” and the brass “altar of burnt offerings” made by Moses, which were removed there from Nob (compare 1 Samuel 21:6, with marginal references “i,” “k”), had made it “the great high-place,” more sacred, i. e., than any other in the holy land, unless it were Mount Zion where the ark had been conveyed by David. For the position of Gibeon, see Joshua 9:3 note.

A thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer - Solomon presented the victims. The priests were the actual sacrificers 1 Kings 8:5. A sacrifice of a thousand victims was an act of royal magnificence suited to the greatness of Solomon. So Xerxes offered 1,000 oxen at Troy. If the offerings in this case were “whole burnt offerings,” and were all offered upon the altar of Moses, the sacrifice must have lasted several days.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

GOD APPEARED TO SOLOMON IN A DREAM

"And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt-offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great lovingkindness according as he walked before thee in truth, and righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great lovingkindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Jehovah my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?"

"I am but a little child" (1 Kings 3:7). This is usually understood to mean that Solomon considered himself but a "little child" in the sense of his total inexperience in judging the people, also as a reference to his youth upon coming to the throne. As for his age when he became king, there seems to be quite a mystery. The Septuagint (LXX) gives it at age twelve (1 Kings 2:12); Josephus gave it as age fourteen;[10] and a popular scholarly guess is that he was about the age of twenty. There seems to be no way that his age can be dogmatically established.

God, in ancient times, often appeared to men in dreams; but that was no positive evidence of God's approval of the character of those to whom he appeared. Both Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar received prophetic dreams from God.

In this passage, Solomon asked God for wisdom that he might properly govern the people; but God, pleased with that request, also promised him riches and honor. This is emphasized in the next paragraph.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-kings-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there,.... About four or five miles from Jerusalem; See Gill on 1 Kings 2:28;

for that was the great high place; not that the place itself might be higher than others that were used; but here were the tabernacle of Moses, and the altar; so that it was a more dignified place, and more sacred because of them:

a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar; the brazen altar of burnt offerings there; not at one time, but on several days successively; though Jarchi says on one day; and which was a prodigious number, never was known the like, unless at the dedication of the temple, 1 Kings 8:63.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the king went to d Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that [was] the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

(d) For there the tabernacle was (2 Chronicles 1:3).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there — The old tabernacle and the brazen altar which Moses had made in the wilderness were there (1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3-6). The royal progress was of public importance. It was a season of national devotion. The king was accompanied by his principal nobility (2 Chronicles 1:2); and, as the occasion was most probably one of the great annual festivals which lasted seven days, the rank of the offerer and the succession of daily oblations may help in part to account for the immense magnitude of the sacrifices.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-3.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(4) And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

The Reader will do well to compare the parallel history of Solomon, as we have it related in the opening of the second book of the Chronicles. There we learn that this high place at Gibeon was the proper consecrated place of worship, the tabernacle of the congregation being there. So that this high place differed most essentially from the general acceptation of what is called high places in the Old Testament. See 2 Chronicles 1:3.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-3.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 3:4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that [was] the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

Ver. 4. And the king went to Gibeon.] To seek God; and that he might be the better prepared to build the temple, whereunto he now thought it but time to address himself.

For that was the great high place.] Because there was the tabernacle [1 Chronicles 16:39] and the altar of burnt offering; [1 Chronicles 21:29] hence there was great resorting to it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 3:4. To Gibeon—for that was the great high place Of all the high places where the people sacrificed, Gibeon was the great and celebrated one, because the tabernacle and brazen altar were there. See 2 Chronicles 1:3. There is no reason to suppose, that the thousand sacrifices which Solomon is said to have made here, were offered in one day. The king, we may imagine, upon one of the great festivals, went in procession with his nobles to pay his devotion in Gibeon. Each of the great festivals lasted for seven days: but Solomon might stay much longer at Gibeon, until, by the daily oblations, a thousand burnt-offerings were consumed; and at the conclusion of this course of devotion, he might offer up his ardent prayer to God for wisdom, as recorded in the next verses. See 2 Chronicles 1:7.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-3.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The great high place; the most eminent and frequented, because there was the tabernacle and the altar of Moses, 1 Chronicles 16:39 21:29 2 Chronicles 1:3,5,6, which possibly were placed upon a high or raised ground.

A thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar; thereby showing his special respect to this above all other places, and by his example teaching and inviting all his people to do so.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-3.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

SOLOMON’S WISE CHOICE, 1 Kings 3:4-15.

4.Gibeon — The modern el-Jib, a few miles northwest of Jerusalem. See note on Joshua 9:3.

That was the great high place — The most distinguished and sacred of all the heights on which the people were wont to sacrifice, for there were the tabernacle and the brazen altar. 2 Chronicles 1:3; 2 Chronicles 1:5.

A thousand burnt offerings — This great number corresponded with the thousands of the congregation that went with Solomon to the high place, (see 1 Chronicles 1:2-3,) and also denoted the national significance of the occasion. So at the dedication of the temple Solomon offered twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep, or, as elsewhere expressed, “Sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.” See 1 Kings 8:5; 1 Kings 8:63. We are not to suppose that all these offerings were made at the same instant or by one person; still less that Solomon offered them with his own hands. Scores of priests officiated on such occasions, and the sacred festival lasted many days.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-3.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 3:4. The king went to Gibeon — Because the tabernacle was there, and the great brazen altar which Moses made. For after Shiloh was destroyed, they were carried to Nob; and the priests being there slain by Saul, they were removed to Gibeon, 2 Chronicles 1:3-6. That was the great high place — The most eminent and frequented; and, possibly, was a high and raised ground. A thousand burnt-offerings did Solomon offer — This undoubtedly includes the peace-offerings which were killed and dressed for the entertainment of the guests who were invited to the sacrifices; for it can hardly be supposed that so many were wholly consumed on the altar at one time of sacrificing.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-3.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Victims. These he accompanied with most fervent prayer, Wisdom vii. 7., and 2 Paralipomenon i. 9.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-3.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, [ Gib`own (Hebrew #1391), a hill-city, standing on a hill (el-Jib).] The prominent distinction of this place arose from the old tabernacle and the brasen altar which Moses had made in the wilderness (1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3-6) having been removed from Nob there, end established on the heights called Nob there, and established on the heights called Neby Samwil, Mizpeh (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 212). That hill, which rises between 500 and 600 feet, is the highest point in all the adjoining country, and corresponds to the description [ habaamaah (Hebrew #1116) hag

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Gibeon.—The name itself, signifying “belonging to a hill,” indicates its position on the central plateau of Israel, in the land of Benjamin, whence rise several round hills, on one of which the town stood. There was now reared the Tabernacle, with the brazen altar of sacrifice, to which the descendants of the old Gibeonites were attached as “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua 9:23). It was therefore naturally “the great high place.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
Gibeon
9:2; Joshua 9:3; 10:2; 1 Chronicles 16:39; 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3,7-12
a thousand
8:63; 2 Chronicles 1:6; 7:5; 29:32-35; 30:24; Isaiah 40:16; Micah 6:6,7
Reciprocal: Exodus 29:18 - a burnt offering;  Joshua 18:25 - Gibeon;  1 Samuel 13:9 - he offered;  1 Kings 8:4 - and the;  2 Kings 16:15 - the king's burnt;  Ezekiel 46:12 - a voluntary

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-3.html.